Day 9 was a LONG day. If we would have had nicer weather it probably would have been okay, but we didn't. It was cloudy and windy and freezing cold all day with a bit of snow in the morning. This was a day that I hadn't originally planned on doing, but just before the trip someone asked in the Iceland travel group about this road and if you could walk to Haifoss and everyone said yes, but it is a 7km walk, but the waterfall is one of the best in Iceland! So since we had time and that is not that far to walk we decided to check it out. We arrived and there was a sign on the road stating 4x4 only - I had read that it was a gravel road to the waterfall, but not an F road so anyone could technically do it so we were going to spy, but we are rule followers and we didn't have a 4x4 so we parked off the side of the road and started walking.
At one point there was a bunch of water on the road, a small stream or something that was pretty wide and you couldn't really tell how deep it was. We were one of two cars there at the time and the other car didn't try to cross so we were all walking. Later in the day we saw lots of small campers who definitely just went for it...
The road is a service road you walk along and it is up in the mountains. The road coming to here had us driving through a pretty cool area - everything looked like it had been burned. We have hiked through burn areas before and this looked like that, black smudges everywhere, only it hasn't been in a forest fire. Kind of cool, but no photos as there wasn't anywhere to stop.
After a very long walk in the wind we made it to Haifoss...and it was FREEZING here! So windy which was bitterly bone-chilling cold.
It was a nice, beautiful waterfall, but by the time we arrived I just wanted to be out of the wind! To me this was definitely not worth the long walk on a not so nice day, but if the sun was out or it was warmer, less windy then sure why not?
When we were almost to the turnoff to the waterfall a car did pass us by - the first car we had seen. When we got to the lookout the people driving were asking if we planned to hike down to the river, which we weren't as I was tired, needed some lunch, and just wanted out of the wind. They offered us a ride back to our car if we wanted to wait for them or go down the canyon with them and we decided we would start back and if they drove by before we made it to the car we would take a lift the rest of the way. It was kind of a miserable hike as it was so cold, but I kept overheating and I hadn't gotten my layering down yet. Had not quite figured out which layers I should wear to stay warm, but not too warm so I was constantly adjusting.
Wearing all my layers as it was so cold!
After lunch we headed back towards the car
It was a bit nicer than the walk there. Not as windy, not as cold, slightly downhill so not overheating, and the clouds were lifting slightly so we could actually see the mountains around us. No cars passed us on the way back, though plenty did going towards the waterfalls. If we would have gotten there later we probably could have gotten a ride to the falls, then maybe we would have tried hiking down into the valley as well.
After we got back to the car we took a long break before heading off again towards Gjáin. By that time I was still tired and I almost said let's just skip this one as I thought Haifoss was supposed to be the nicer of the two, but I am so glad we didn't!
The walk was much nicer down a sandy F road (instead of hard rocks so much nicer on the feet!)
And when we got there I loved it!! It was so pretty! It looked kind of like someone made this cute little park. Like a Japanese garden, but for mountains and streams. There were lots of little trails to wander around on and it was just really nice. I enjoyed this stop much more than Haifoss and of the two would definitely recommend coming here if you don't have a lot of time!
When we were here we saw the people who had offered us a ride earlier! We got back to the parking lot the same time as them and they offered us a ride back to our car, which we gladly accepted. It saved us so much time which we were very happy for as we still had a long drive to the campsite for the night. They were from the Czech Republic and so we were talking to them about our trip there and how much we loved it! They were surprised as they were like whenever they meet someone they have only ever been to Prague, but that was another great trip! We also were talking about where we are from in the states and they work for a company based near my mom and have friends in the next county over! Such a small world as most people do not know where exactly I am from! So crazy!
We were originally going to go back to the campsite from the night before, but on a break I realized it was slightly closer to go to the next nights campsite, Skjól Camping, so that is what we did. I realized it would actually work out better as then we wouldn't need to drive forever in the morning to get to where we were going. The people working there were super friendly and it was a really nice night. And close to all the golden circle stops, which we would go to tomorrow! Plus they had a bunny
And the cutest little dog!! I went to say hello and she was so sweet!
A long day of walking - 23.1km total